Betting on the Playstation 4

With the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 apparently winding down and Nintendo taking the first step into the next generation with its Wii U in November, gamers have been clamoring for more information about the Sony’s and Microsoft’s new consoles for months now. Sony appears set to announce the next iteration of its venerable Playstation line of consoles on February 20 at an event simply dubbed “see the future.” Here’s hoping they trot out a gypsy with a crystal ball to tell us the Playstation 4 is hidden in the basement of the Alamo.

If this event truly does mark the announcement of the next Playstation and not just, say, a tricked out Wonderbook with a cup holder, that’s obviously damn good news. But do you know what makes even the best events ten times better? Gambling. Laying odds and placing bets adds an intense layer of drama to everything from sporting events to celebrity deaths to congressional elections. With that in mind, let’s make a few prop bets on Sony’s February 20 event.

Sony will formally announce the Playstation 4: 3-2. You’ve used the internet before, right? You haven’t! Well, let’s get one thing straight: rumors and hearsay are just that until the person or company actually in charge of the supposed information officially confirms it. Anonymous sources like those that confirmed the event as the Playstation 4’s coming out party to Polygon and the Wall Street Journal are occasionally wrong and should always be taken with a grain of salt. In this case, however, the announcement of the PS4 feels like too sure of a bet.

Sony will formally announce a new handheld: 20-1. They do that every few years, don’t they? Sony has proven not to have any patience with their handheld offerings. The Vita’s underperforming (despite how awesome it is), so why not scrap it and build something new? Take the bet. Come on. I need a new stereo.

Rumored additions to the controller will make it cost more than a new game: 5-1. According to the Edge Online article linked above, the next PlayStation’s controller will replace the Start, Select, and PS buttons with a Vita-style touchpad. Sounds expensive. With new Dualshocks currently retailing at $54.99, even a small price increase would bump the PS4 controller up over the $59.99 at which current generation games sell brand new. Of course, that assumes my next prop bet doesn’t hit.

MSRP of new PS4 games be at least $10 more than that of PS3 games: 3-1. Historically, new console hardware is typically sold at a loss recouped by game and peripheral sales. Combine that trend with a beefy new box and the used games market’s supposed negative effect on the industry and you get a potentially perfect storm for an increase in the base price of new games.

Playstation 4 games will include some sort of DRM that pisses everyone off: 4-1. Sony’s been dabbling in disc-based DRM lately, going so far as to have filed a patent for just such a system. In the past, they’ve locked down their own hardware as a means of discouraging homebrew developers and those who want to tinker around with Linux on a console. It seems reasonable that Sony has at least considered implementing some sort of strong DRM on the next Playstation.

The Playstation 4 will initially retail at $499.99.: 2-1. The original Playstation and the Playstation 2 launched at $299.99. The basic Playstation 3 model opened at $499.99. I see a trend, and that value seems appropriate given the current pricing of other high-end electronics.

Sony will announce some sort of new or supposedly improved Move technology for the Playstation 4: 3-2. Much to my personal chagrin, motion controls are still a great way to make a quick buck, and Sony’s offerings in that category lag far behind those of Nintendo and Microsoft. A new console offers the company a chance to start fresh and challenge its competitors for ridiculous arm-waving dominance.

The Playstation 4 will integrate tightly with the Vita: 5-1. Cross-Play and Cross-Buy are impressive attempts to drive the PS3’s audience to Sony’s handheld that didn’t quite pan out. Giving your existing user base a solid reason to pick up one of your other products is such a simple, sound marketing strategy that this initiative is sure to continue–hopefully in the form of Wii U-style Remote Play that lets Vita owners access their PS4 games on their handhelds.

Launch titles

  • Some silly dance game for the Move: 3-2
  • God of War: 2-1
  • Uncharted: 3-1
  • Twisted Metal: 4-1
  • The Phantom Pain: 4-1
  • A game designed to show off the new touchpad that fails miserably: 4-1
  • A new version of Playstation All-Stars: 5-1
  • A terrible Sonic racing game: 6-1
  • A rushed version of the latest Madden: 6-1
  • Some silly dance game for the Move starring Parappa the Rappa: 6-1
  • Dragon Age III: 10-1
  • Elder Scrolls Online: 15-1
  • A Final Fantasy VII remake: 20-1
  • Some silly dance game for the Move starring Hideo Kojima: 30-1
  • Half-Life 3: 100-1
  • Project Copernicus: 200,000-1

Some obvious Sony stalwarts there, along with a few titles and types of games typical of recent launches and a few longshots for the bold. Initially I placed Elder Scrolls Online at much worse odds, but logically, it might make sense for the series to make its first foray on consoles as well as PCs. Console online services are better and more reliable than ever, after all, so it may only be a matter of time before an MMORPG makes it outside of the PC realm.

The Playstation 4 will release in time for Christmas of 2013: 3-2. If Sony waits much longer to announce the PS4, Santa’s elves won’t have time to make enough to satisfy all the good little boys and girls that want one. And that would be sad.

The Playstation 4 will include strong integration with 3D televisions: 4-1. Just what the games industry needs: another gimmick! If Sony’s looking to beat the competition to a new feature, this one’s the most obvious.

Some executive no one’s ever heard of will waste at least fifteen minutes of our time blowing smoke up our asses about how well the Playstation 3 performed: 5-4. This always happens at big reveals. Sit down, shut up, and get to the good stuff.

Sony won’t reveal any actual information about the Playstation 4 and will just show us a cheesy video with a new logo and some snazzy graphics: 2-1. And then we put these bets on hold for a few months.

Did we miss anything? Want to take us up on one of these lines? Email the author at scott@dpaddbags.com or tweet @dpaddbags.

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